Of course I’ll always be your friend you silly woman.
Someone else said the same thing and while I’d be very honored to get a badge like that, I also feel that there are many others around me that have also gone through deep lows in their lives and I feel that it’s not fair for me to get recognition while so many other people have survived many trials. I have many quiet friends that smile a lot, but I sometimes wonder what they had gone through to get to where they are now and if anyone ever paid attention to their troubles.
That was one of the reasons why I decided to start a blog, to let others know that there’s always a friendly turtle who would love to hear about their lives.
And you’re right; it takes a lot more strength to say “no” sometimes. That’s a really beautiful mahogany desk, but even if you can afford it, do you think you really need to replace your current desk? No. A cup of coffee seems nice right now, but you’re about 15 minutes away from home and you have tea and coffee at home, but you think that you could use those $4 for something better. Should you? Yes. (I’ve experienced this many times and I’m always full of regret when I arrive home with a steaming cup of coffee, only to find that I could’ve just made some nice coffee at home too, but it is ultimately a personal choice.)
The hardest people to say “no” to are your friends, family and you. There’s social pressure, guilt-tripping and self-reasoning. (That last one is so destructive I have nothing to say about it aside from this: don’t.)
I don’t know about Kitsune-dou (why the -dou?), but I find that being able to choose what I really need instead of what I want is an useful and important ability that I’ve strengthened over the years.
Oh, the past does drag me down. In fact, some days I’m just swimming in my regrets and embarrassing moments. But at the end of those days I slap myself awake and remind myself that everyone makes mistakes and instead of clinging on them, hiding them under my bed, I should frame and hang them up on the walls of my mind palace. I get a lot of criticism and most of the time, the comments are full of mockery and condescension.
“Hey, weren’t you the girl who called a teacher ‘dad’?” “Oh yeah, that happened during elementary school. Wasn’t that silly of me?”
“Hey, you’ve gained some weight. Can you ever lose some?” “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll come back to you in ten years or so and we can talk about it then.”
“You accidentally walked the wrong way during your graduation?!” “Yeah, imagine how embarrassing that was! I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
“You shouldn’t be so blunt sometimes. You aren’t in the place to tell them that and you give terrible advice.” “Well, that may be true, but I don’t think you have the right to tell me that, since I wasn’t addressing you.”
“How come you don’t have a _______?” “Maybe I don’t need it?” “What? Everyone needs one!” “Really? I doubt the children in African countries have ______.”
Stand up. It’s an ability we all have, but unfortunately, a prerequisite to using it is courage. And as we get older, activating this ability becomes harder and harder: social obligations, others scrutinizing your every move, workplace pressure.
Something to keep in mind isn’t “They did it, so why can’t I?” but “I can do it because I believe in myself.” Don’t compare yourself to others; everyone lives a unique life so there’s not much you can compare in reality.
And if others try to drag you down by revealing your mistakes to the people around you, don’t get defensive and reason with them. (Reasoning with people who can’t hear you is useless.)
So what if you made mistakes? What’s wrong with admitting your mistakes? (And if you have big secrets, then you need to seal them tightly shut with duct tape because if it leaks out, there’s nothing you can’t do about it.)
Gah. I’m talking in circles.
Lesson: Think before you speak, be positive (regardless of the amount of pressure society puts on all of us) and understand that what you need and want are two very different things.